England moves closer to the 2023 Women's World Cup

England are already top of their group with an 8-point lead over their opponents and have put Northern Ireland at bay in the 2023 Women's World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday evening. In Belfast, England won 5-0 and can now only be joined by the Austrians, 2nd at 5 points. They have now won for the 8th time in a row without conceding a single goal in these qualifiers.

Manchester City's Lauren Hemp opened the scoring in the first half (26') and gave her team a slight advantage at the break. The second half saw the momentum build with a second goal from Ella Toone (52') before Lauren Hemp scored twice (60'). The English could have stopped there, but Georgia Stanway, Hemp's club teammate, followed suit with two more goals in the closing stages (70', 79').

With this defeat, Northern Ireland lost all hope of even a play-off place in Group D with only two matches left to play. Although the gap between them and Austria is 6 points, they have a much lower goal difference (+17 against +35 for Austria). While their position appears to be set to qualify for the next World Cup, England, Austria and Northern Ireland will be in the same group next summer at the Women's Euro in England (6-31 July).

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